BEIJING – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg amazed and delighted his audience when he spoke and answered questions in Mandarin Chinese during a press conference at Tsinghua University in Beijing on Thursday.
At the start of the Q&A session, the youthful billionaire greeted the attendees by saying “ni hao” (“hello” in Chinese). Many foreigners do the same as an act of courtesy during public events in China.
Zuckerberg, though, continued speaking in Mandarin for several minutes, as can be seen in the video he shared on his Facebook profile.
Asked why he had learned Chinese, Zuckerberg said that he did so because the family of his wife, Priscilla Chan, is Chinese.
He also added that Mandarin Chinese is the language of a great country, whose importance increases day by day.
Zuckerberg added that he likes challenges, and learning a complicated language like Mandarin proved quite a challenging endeavor.
The U.S. entrepreneur has been praised for his Mandarin by many Chinese citizens on social networks, while others mock him for having such a poor accent.
Foreign Policy’s website commented on Zuckerberg’s grasp of the linguistic intricacies of Mandarin, saying that “he can communicate like an articulate 7-year-old with a mouth full of marbles.”
Zuckerberg often visits China in order to work and collaborate with some of the Asian giant’s most important firms.
Ironically, Facebook has been banned in China since 2009.